Organic Math: Part II

Rote learning works for some students, but it isn't for everybody.  More traditional methods of teaching mathematics can sometimes be too abstract for some students, which leads to the ubiquitous belief that they are "bad at math."  Because each student engages with mathematics a little bit differently, it makes sense to investigate mathematics in a... Continue Reading →

In Favor of Color

There is a wealth of powerful scientific data that points to the fact that children learn better in environments that are not highly decorated.  Particularly for Reggio educators, there has been a large push-back against the brightly colored, plastic furniture and learning materials that were so common when I was a child. In general, I... Continue Reading →

Organic Math: Part I

I'll come clean: as a kid, I didn't get math.  I was generally able to follow instructions and produce the answers my teachers were looking for, but on the whole it seemed totally arbitrary to me.  I was never quite sure how it impacted me and what it had to do with my day-to-day life... Continue Reading →

Reggio, Citizenship, and the Power of Difference

The Reggio Way isn't quite like other educational philosophies.  While it shares commonalities with many other approaches to learning, it holds the importance of citizenship as one of its core tenants.  Facilitating the mental and physical growth of students in a safe and inviting environment is the ultimate goal, but the method by which such... Continue Reading →

The Intangible Third Teacher

When I first started working in the Reggio Way, "environment" was a word that felt hopelessly vague to me.  Time after time, I floundered through discussions centered on "environment as the third teacher" that seemed to incorporate nearly everything.  With only a few years of experience under my belt, I have heard the word used... Continue Reading →

From Tennessee to Shangri-la

My uncle recently returned to the United States from China to visit my family.  His jet-lag and our early morning schedule led to quite a few discussions over 5:00 am coffee.  During one such conversation, he mentioned that he had recently been appointed the Program Director of a brand new conservation center in Shangri-la, Tibet.... Continue Reading →

The Hundred Languages of Pedagogy

I was surprised to find that one of my articles, The Paradox of Pedagogical Documentation, was recently translated into Italian.  A group of nature educators plan to use it as a point of discussion for an upcoming training seminar.  Reading excerpts of my blog in translation was both exciting and a little strange.  I was... Continue Reading →

A.C.E. and The Right to Learn

It is common practice for many private kindergartens to interview children as part of their admission process.  While part of the focus of these interviews is to evaluate the academic acumen of the applicant, many interviewers also subject children to a variety of situations designed to test their ability to handle stress, regulate their emotions,... Continue Reading →

In Pursuit of a Strenuous Life

On April 10th, 1899, Theodore Roosevelt Jr. gave a speech in which he reflected upon what he believed to be the ideal American lifestyle: "I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life, the life of toil and effort, of labor and strife; to preach that highest... Continue Reading →

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